On the 3rd try I finally got a really good look at the female Red Crossbill that I have been stalking since last weekend. She is a late riser, so I didn’t kill myself getting there super early only to find out that she had been spotted at 7:30am. Figures. But not having to work, and wearing heavy winter gear; I was prepared to camp out for hours if need be. Within 10 minutes of standing in the driveway, however, she appeared at the neighbor’s feeders. Karla spotted her first and we all got on her. She would fly back and forth from the feeder to a bare oak almost always with a male Goldfinch. I left shortly after 11 having seen her many times. Now, I need a good photo of her. I have hope, she has been here a week and does not appear to be going anywhere. This photo is one of the ones Karla Risdon took crawling commando style across her dining room floor as the Crossbill fed in a window feeder. Thanks Karla for letting me post it.
Last winter was incredible with a terrific northern finch invasion. I am hoping for something similar this year. There are already lots of sightings of Pine Siskins and White-winged Crossbills plus the ListServ has a few reports of Snowy Owls north of us. I hear the Snow Buntings are here too. I hope to get to Spruce Run to see them this coming week when I AM ON VACATION. Oh, sorry was I shouting?
Have there been sightings of northern birds by you?
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Filed under carnival, Photos
May 25, 1994. I was late for work hurrying down 33rd street. The train was late and it had rained in the night. As I power-walked head down in the wind, up ahead I noticed a circle of people clustered around something on the sidewalk. I could not help myself. I stopped to see what had caught the attention of jaded New York commuters. There on the side walk was a female northern parula. Alive, eyes open yet completely still.
“Oh my God, it’s a parula.” The crowd parted. I knelt down. Satisfied that someone was taking care of the situation, they melted away. I stared at the tiny bird. Gingerly I gathered her up, carrying her cupped in my hand to my office on Park. When I walked in my co-worker asked what I had. I told him it was a migrating warbler that appeared to have hit the Empire State Building. How she did not get crushed, stepped on in the morning rush, I had no idea. He immediately took out his coffee and handled me the bag. I nestled her in it on a bed of napkins. Lightly folding down the top, I picked up the phone and started to call birding friends and the local bird societies. One of them gave me the name of a midtown rehabilitator, Vivian Sokol. When I called and explained the situation, she said to come right over. She was amazing.
On December 28, 1994, she mailed me this photo ……with a note on the back. “She suffered a concussion from the collision and a broken wrist on her left wing. Rehabilitating took the summer. She was released at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sep 3, 1994 in time for fall migration. She underwent a complete moult from July to August. Here she has completed it to perfection by the end of August when migration restlessness peaked.”
The memory of holding that tiny life moves me still. Thank you Vivian Sokol for the work that you did and hopefully are still doing.